12 Days of Christmas – Kim Fleming

Here comes Day 5 and the wonderfully talented Melbourne illustrator Kim Fleming. She shares a reflections from her Christmas days growing up in Canada – and the delicious (although not very healthy) breakfast cereal Fruit Loops! Yummy!

And Kim has added a lovely Christmas picture at the end. Just beautiful!

Kim Fleming

Growing up in Montreal, Canada, my Christmases were most definitely white and very, very cold. We had several traditions which I remember fondly.

When we were young, my older brother and I would always wake up earlier than my parents and sneak downstairs. I can always remember that feeling of amazement and magic realising that Santa had visited in the night. We were only allowed to open our stockings until my parents wandered down groggily at about 7am. The stockings ALWAYS included one of those small boxes of very sugary cereals that come in 6-packs (a big treat! Especially to the one who got the Fruit Loops!) We would gobble down our cereal, and hope my parents had had their first coffee by the time we finished, so we could start opening the “REAL” presents.

I remember one year in particular when I was a bit older, maybe early teens, and not quite as excited about sugary cereal. My artistic inclinations had already started to emerge, and my parents bought me “The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy” by Nick Bantock. I spent the entire day and night (in between more presents, going for a walk in the snow, and roast duck) devouring these books and the innovative way they were designed as correspondence between two people in actual illustrated letters and postcards. It had me spellbound and I still have those books, currently sitting next to me on my bookshelves.

As a child, Christmas did seem to be a lot about the presents! My parents had emigrated from Europe so we didn’t have any extended family around us, it was just our posse of four. But as you grow up and those things become less important, I realised how lucky we were to have those little traditions. No matter how they started or how big or small they were, they were ours. Now that I have my own child, I look forward to establishing some traditions for our little posse…


Kim Fleming grew up in Montreal, Canada, studied art near Seattle, USA, and now calls Melbourne home. Her illustrations can be found mainly in children’s books, but also in animated children’s games, greeting cards, rubber stamps, digital stamps, magazines, and newspapers. Kim uses a blend of watercolours, pencil, acrylics and collage to create layered illustrations that are sweet, heartwarming, and whimsical.

Her blog is http://lil-kim.blogspot.com/ and her website is www.kimflemingillustration.com

Her latest book “Mummy You’re special to me” will be appearing in April 2014 with Scholastic  – just in time for Mother’s Day.

Kim has added an extra special Christmas touch sharing this illustration from her 2010 picture book True Blue Santa (HarperColliins)

Santa emus


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